Shocks and Transitions from Career Jobs to Bridge Jobs and Retirement: A New Approach

33 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2018

See all articles by John Ameriks

John Ameriks

The Vanguard Group, Inc.

Joseph Briggs

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Andrew Caplin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Minjoon Lee

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics

Matthew D. Shapiro

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Christopher Tonetti

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Date Written: February 1, 2018

Abstract

This research provides new empirical evidence on late-life labor market activities of American households from a new survey implemented under the Vanguard Research Initiative. The survey features following innovations: It measures detailed job characteristics not only of a career job but also of post-career bridge jobs; it examines reasons of leaving a career job and whether households would have changed their decisions under counterfactual situations; it examines post-career job search behavior of households. The research finds that, even though a direct transition from a career job to full retirement is still the most common pattern, a significant fraction of older Americans reveal interest in working beyond the career job. Within this sample of older Americans with positive financial assets, 38% of had a post-career bridge job and another 7% of them looked for a post-career employment opportunity. Low health or bad business conditions were the not the main reason for leaving the career job. Yet, for the minority of those who did leave career jobs owing to low health or bad economic conditions, had they counterfactually had better health or economic conditions, they likely would have decided to work longer. Those who work longer on their career job or have a post-career bridge job tend to work fewer hours, have a flexible schedule, and receive lower hourly wages.

Keywords: older workers, retirement transitions

Suggested Citation

Ameriks, John and Briggs, Joseph and Caplin, Andrew and Lee, Minjoon and Shapiro, Matthew D. and Tonetti, Christopher, Shocks and Transitions from Career Jobs to Bridge Jobs and Retirement: A New Approach (February 1, 2018). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2018-380; Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 18-39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3240808 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3240808

John Ameriks

The Vanguard Group, Inc. ( email )

P.O. Box 2600
MS V36
Valley Forge, PA 19482-2600
United States
610-503-5676 (Phone)

Joseph Briggs

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

Andrew Caplin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-8950 (Phone)
212-995-3932 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.nyu.edu/user/caplina/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Minjoon Lee

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

Matthew D. Shapiro (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

and Survey Research Center
611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States
313-764-5419 (Phone)
313-764-2769 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
313-764-5419 (Phone)
313-764-2769 (Fax)

Christopher Tonetti

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

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